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October  2013

Week One:

Tally Ho was taken down to Holiday Point Marina in the South river and once there we prepped the boat to be put on the hard for the winter. We went to the SSCA Gam whilst there and met with a couple of cruising friends we know from the Rappahannock River. It was good to see Walt and Mary (Orion)again. Also saw our HSA friends Sharon and Mike and Eric and Bonnie. We also went to a lovely reunion dinner at  our ABACO cruising friends, Ray and Sandy's summer house just around the corner from our marina. Small world! 

On Sunday after the Gam we headed to Crownsville to have a day at the Rennaisance Fair with our family. Our son and his wife really get into the spirit of things and dress accordingly. A fun day was had by all. The girls were able to ride some exotic animals too.

A couple of days later we went home to get the house cleaned up and get ourselves ready for our European trip.....more on that later.

It has been a busy summer and we are taking a vacation, from the vacation! Hey we do work......it just seems like we play all the time!

More news soon...cheers!

SSCA meeting in Mayo

Kendall wants an Elephant ride!

Chloe on the camel

View from Ray and Sandy's summer abode

Mathew and Chrisine at the Rennaisance Festival

Week Two:

Our big trip of the year begins: We left the US and flew to London to begin a six week trip visiting Athens, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

We stayed in a lovely flat in the Teddington area (Andrew's sisters place) and used public transport all week. It was strange to be without a car but the London transport was fantastic. We used rail, underground, bus, taxi and shanksey's pony!

Whilst in London we took a  tour of Hampton Court Palace, toured the Globe Theatre, rode the London Eye and went to Borough Market and the Vaudeville Theatre to see "The Ladykillers".

We've enjoyed our time in London. Sad we couldn't see all our friends and family this time but it was nice to be a tourist for once. Now we are preparing to explore Athens.

Our home for the week.

View from the London Eye

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Hampton Court Privy gardens

Cold day in Court, King Williams era

More gardens

Ann, Arthur and Andrew. Lunch in Teddington

Ann & John

Freddie and food!

Will

Lunch along the Thames with Andrew's sisters and husbands

Hampton Court Tudor entrance

Henry VIII era buildings

Henry's kitchens

More gardens

Beautiful chimney's in Henry's era

Borough Market....cheese

Hares, pheasant, duck....you name it!

 

Week Three:

We've spent a very pleasant week in Athens and the weather has cooperated for  most of the time. The Acropolis, Parthenon and several other temples were quite awe inspiring. We went to the Parliament building on Syntagma Square to see the changing of the guard but it  was raining and the guards don't move when it rains, so we went back the following day and watched the performance. It was interesting wandering around the multitude of different districts. We'd happen upon streets of fabric shops, or bathroom hardware stores one after another. Streets full of craft supplies and so on and so on. The economy is bad here but you would not know it by the number of patrons frequenting the plentiful tavernas and cafes downtown. Ouzo and mezhedes are just the thing whilst people watching from a comfortable chair at one of the sidewalk bars.

Our accommodations here have been quite sufficient. The only negative is  the location, on top of one of the steepest hills in the suburbs. If you are young and fit then you'd be OK, but with Andrew and his bad knee it has presented a problem. Even I found it a struggle bringing the booze up the hill in my backpack! Had to stop for a bit of refreshment and lighten the load! There was supposed to be a supermarket two blocks away from the apartment, down the hill, but when we got there they told us they had closed down "forever". So we ended up getting our supplies and seeing the sites via taxi. Thankfully the taxis are rather inexpensive and it certainly made life easier.

Now we move onto the ship where we will no doubt see more ancient wonders...

Our rooftop terrace with great views, but not with the camera!

Concrete jungle, view from our apt. high on the hill near Kipseli

The Odeon theatre where performances are still held today.

The Ancient Agora. Monastiraki in the background.

The Parthenon, currently under restoration.

Bloody tourists always get in the way!

Porch of the Caryatids 415BC

Erechtheion sanctuary

Plateia Monastiraki

Slow walking guard outside Parliament.

Guarding the soldiers barracks behind the National Gardens.

 

Week Four:

Oh what a week!  Invite us to dinner and we'll tell you all about it.

Here's a brief synopsis of our travels. We began the week by visiting Ephesus in Turkey. Our ship docked in Kusadasi, not the place for shopping although it was filled with shops and awful salespeople trying to drag you in through every open doorway. We were fortunate to be on a tour and had no time for hustlers. Ephesus is so far the highlight of Vanessa's trip. A wonderful city that still has much more excavation to be done. It is full of Roman/Greek history and very well preserved terraced houses that are a must to go and see. Stunning place.

Next stop was Rhodes, where we roamed around town with umpteen feral cats and of course hoards of people. The old city is surrounded by walls and it was great fun navigating through the very narrow cobbled streets keeping clear of the many motorbikes driving through.

From Rhodes to Haifa, Israel, and a long bus ride to Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem is also walled (wailing wall included). It  was very interesting to see the sights that are mentioned in the Bible, (Holy Sepulchre, Mount of Olives, anointed stone, cave where Jesus was buried, Garden of Gethsemane etc.) although most of the places now have churches on top of them where once it would have been fields and open spaces. The city has several religious quarters and it was fun wandering through the Jewish quarter and finding ourselves in the Muslim bazaar within minutes. It is a small place with lots to see and more religions than I care to mention! The Israeli armed guards were in sight all the time.

Last stop of the week was Cyprus. This was a relaxed day of taking the local bus into the town of Limassol and just wandering around the town. This part of Cyprus in the South, is Greek speaking and Vanessa got to practice her Greek again. The North of Cyprus is mainly Turkish and there seems to be a problem between them. That appears to be the case wherever we go. There's a lot of strife here in Europe, most of it caused by immigrants we think. Food for thought!

Next port Katakolon, Greece!

The top end of Ephesus, Roman baths.

The remains of a once covered walkway.

The Ephesus high street

High street leading down to the Celsus libary

Goddess Nike

Original mosaics in Ephesus.

The gentlemens toilets. Slaves had to warm the seat up.

Inside the terrace houses.

Artwork in the houses

A bathtub with mini tub beside it.

Celsus Library

The street going down to the harbour that is no longer there.

The Theatre. Fantastic acoustics.

View from inside the walls of Rhodes....I see a ship coming in.

Some tourist!

Arches keep the buildings together in case of earthquakes.

One of the entrances to Old Rhodes.

Harbour just outside the walls. Rhodes

Harbour entrance. Rhodes

Rhodes Castle.

Another formal night.

Jerusalem.

Who took that olive branch?

Gethsemane and Mount of Olives

Part of the city wall.

Wailing wall, men's section.

Prayers in the crevices. Mine's there somewhere.

The Israeli Army.

The Muslim Church

Gold Menorah in the Jewish quarter

Notice the brick arch between the buildings.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The anointed stone where you can bless yourself and your belongings.

Garden of Gethsemane. These olive trees are supposed to be 1,000-2,000 years old.

One entrance to Jerusalem

Zion gate. Another entrance.

I need a rest.

Greek Orthodox Church, Limassol, Cyprus

 

 

Week Five

The weather continues to be perfect. The ship stopped in Limassol, Cyprus and then continued on to Messina, Sicily. From there we sailed past the little island of Stromboli at night, and in the dark and saw the magnificent sight of the volcano erupting. It really was a sight to see for about half an hour. Onwards to Naples, and a visit to Pompeii. Then to Rome to visit the Pope, but he was out to lunch! Now we have arrived in Spain.

We are both looking forward to the Atlantic crossing (if the weather holds!!) when we will have little to do but take things easy. So far we have hardly felt the boat move. We've enjoyed meeting lots of interesting people and with a full week at sea ahead of us we will surely meet more.

Sandy & Esme. A couple of friends from Australia.

The clock tower in Messina

Pompeii

One of the many streets in Pompeii

No chariots allowed here!

One of the 17,000 who died here.

More ruins

One of the entrances to Pompeii

Ah, Rome here we come!

Outside the Vactican

Halloween night.

Great trees in a square in Alicante, Spain

The castle in Alicante